Verizon and AT&T are both established heavyweight players in the home internet market. They both offer services to millions of subscribers. In recent years they have largely gone in opposite directions regarding the technology that they are focusing on. Verizon is going all in on their 5G home internet service, whereas fiber is the name of the game for AT&T as of right now.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. Depending on your needs and what is available at your service address, AT&T and Verizon are both compelling options to consider.
They both also have a few drawbacks that you should be aware of. Verizon 5G or AT&T, which home internet solution reigns supreme.
|Verizon 5G Home Internet||AT&T Fiber|
|Monthly Service Cost||$25 – $60||$55 – $180|
|Money Back Guarantee||30 Days||30 Days|
|Download Speeds||20 – 500 Mbps||300 – 5000 Mbps|
|Upload Speeds||5 – 35 Mbps||300 – 5000 Mbps|
|Latency (Ping)||40 ms – 95 ms||7 ms – 15 ms|
|Ping Stability||Poor/Fair||Very Good|
|Jitter||20 ms – 55 ms||1 ms – 2 ms|
|Type of IP Address Issued||CGNAT / Private IP||Dynamic Public IP|
|Type of Technology||5G Cellular (Fixed Wireless)||Fiber|
Verizon 5G Home Internet vs AT&T Internet
8 Major Differences Between Verizon 5G Internet and AT&T Fiber
- Verizon 5G Home Internet is generally less expensive, especially with a Verizon cell phone plan.
- Verizon 5G Home Internet can be self-installed in as little as 15 or 20 minutes.
- Verizon 5G Home Internet speeds can vary greatly from hour to hour and day to day.
- AT&T Fiber offers faster download and upload speeds even on their lowest tiers.
- AT&T Fiber consistently offers lower latency and better overall connection stability.
- AT&T Fiber requires a professional installation that can take several hours.
- AT&T Fiber includes a publicly routable IP address rather than using CGNAT.
- AT&T Fiber consistently works well for gaming, whereas Verizon 5G is hit or miss.
AT&T Fiber vs Verizon 5G: Price Comparison
Verizon 5G Home Internet is generally less expensive than AT&T Fiber. With Verizon 5G Home Internet, you either pay $50 – $60 per month on its own or $25 per month when you added home internet to a Verizon cell phone plan. Taxes and fees and your 5G WiFi gateway rental are all included in the base monthly charge.
This makes the overall cost of Verizon 5G Internet relatively low when compared to other home Internet options. Most home internet plans will tack on $5 – $10 per month in additional taxes and fees + $10 – $ 15 per month for a modem/gateway rental. With Verizon 5G, this is all included in the base cost.
With AT&T Fiber, you are looking at between $55 and $180 per month, depending on what plan you choose to go with. You will also be paying additional money for taxes and required fees.
However, unlike with Verizon 5G, you can choose from multiple plans with various speeds to fit your specific needs. It is important to note that even the least expensive $55 per month plan, which offers 300 Mbps download and upload speeds, is more than fast enough for most home users. It is also faster than what you can realistically expect to get from Verizon 5G Home Internet.
Both services come with unlimited data on all plans with no data caps. This is a huge advantage compared to many internet service providers that cap you at 1 TB of data or something similar. Granted, most people do not use that much data anyway.
Verizon 5G vs AT&T Fiber: Download Speeds
AT&T fiber offers faster download speeds in almost all cases. More importantly, AT&T Fiber offers more consistently fast download speeds at all times of the day. AT&T Fiber has plans that offer download speeds as high as 5Gbps. This is significantly faster than what Verizon is able to offer with its 5G service.
With Verizon 5G Internet, it is common to see huge variations in download speed depending on how busy the local cell phone tower you are connected to is. In my own testing, I found that during peak hours, speeds could sometimes drop down to 20 Mbps or even less. This is less than the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) definition of broadband, which requires a minimum of 25 Mbps.
Verizon 5G Internet vs AT&T Fiber: Upload Speeds
AT&T Fiber is a symmetrical internet service. This means equal upload and download speeds. This is pretty standard in the fiber internet industry. For example, if you are subscribed to 300 Mbps, you will see those speeds in both directions.
With Verizon 5G Home Internet, upload speeds are generally much lower than download speeds. On average, you can expect to see between 5 Mbps – 35 Mbps with Verizon 5G Home Internet. This is less than 1/10 of the speed that you get with even the lowest of AT&T Fiber plans. It is also lower than what you get with many other internet service providers.
Verizon 5G Home Internet vs AT&T: Ping / Latency
There is no secret that fiber internet offers the lowest ping. AT&T FIber does not disappoint in this category whatsoever. Latency of 15 ms or less is typical, and stability is also outstanding.
Gaming works well on AT&T Fiber because ping is low and stability is high. Jiter with AT&T Fiber is generally 1 ms or less and maxes out around 3 ms. This is lower than the industry average.
On Verizon 5G Home Internet, ping ranges from moderate to high. During off-peak hours, 45 ms is about what you can generally expect for a ping. During peak hours, it is common to experience spikes that exceed 300 ms or more. Jitter of 30 ms or more proved to be common during peak hours. This was true in both rural and urban locations.
This makes gaming next to impossible during peak hours. Gaming on Verizon 5G Home Internet is generally not the best experience.
Who is Verizon 5G Internet Best Suited For
Verizon 5G Home Internet is a good choice for people who do not have cable or fiber based internet available at their service address. Consider Verizon 5G Home Internet if the following applies to you.
- You are not a gamer.
- You do not work from home or run a business from home.
- You are okay with slower internet performance during peak hours of the day.
- You are an existing Verizon cell phone plan subscriber.
- You have a good strong Verizon 5G signal in your home.
- Saving money on your internet bill is a top priority for you.
If you have a qualifying Verizon Unlimited plan for your cell phone, you may be able to get Verizon 5G Home Internet for as little as $25 per month. This is a great value, to say the least. For everyone else, $50 per month is still good but still feels too high for the lower level of performance offered.
Gaming on Verizon 5G Internet is not ideal. Verizon uses CGNAT technology on its 5G network. This means that you are not assigned a public routable IP address but rather share a public IP address with hundreds or thousands of other customers. For gaming and other peer-to-peer P2P applications, CGNAT is not favorable. This typically manifests itself by way of a strict NAT type in games.
Who is AT&T Fiber Best For
AT&T Fiber is best for most people who live in an area where it is available. Fiber internet has numerous advantages over 5G internet, and the numbers speak for themselves.
Consider AT&T Fiber if you need consistently fast and reliable internet and are okay paying slightly more for your internet service to get that level of consistent performance. Keep in mind that even the lowest 300 Mbps tier of AT&T Fiber will offer better performance than what most people get under real-world conditions with 5G home internet. Verizon vs AT&T home internet when to choose AT&T Fiber.
- You need consistently fast internet during all hours of the day.
- You play online games and want a stable and lag-free connection.
- You need consistently fast internet during all hours of the day.
- You work from home or run a business from home and use Zoom, Teams, VoIP, etc.
Conclusion: Verizon 5G home Internet or AT&T Fiber Internet
For most people, AT&T Fiber is the better option if it is available to them. However, the pricing with Verizon 5G is very attractive if you have a current Verizon cell phone plan. If you are interested in trying 5G home internet at your service address, Verizon offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and has no contracts.
For some people, the $25 per month rate is just too good to pass up. For other people, the performance of Verizon 5G Home Internet is just not competitive with traditional cable and fiber-based internet services. If you work from home or depend on having consistent and reliable internet access, AT&T Fiber is a better option for you. It offers the stability and consistency you need at all hours of the day.